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The Goddess of Sleep

Fortune Brainstorm Health 2016Fortune Brainstorm Health 2016
David Agus sits down with Arianna Huffington for a free-flowing discussion about her new company, Thrive Global, and about whether the American worker can ever fully de-stress during Fortune's inaugural Brainstorm Health conference.Photograph by Stuart Isett for Fortune Brainstorm Health

This essay appears in today’s edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.

First of all, dear Brainstorm Health Daily readers, a confession: I pulled an all-nighter to write about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep:

As a result, I’ll keep this opener short and send those willing to my piece on Arianna Huffington’s launch of Thrive Global, a company that hopes to lead a workplace revolution in wellness.

The new project is a dramatic departure from The Huffington Post, the effort that built her fortune and that she ran for 11 years until stepping down in August. But this one could potentially have a transformative impact on our national conversation about wellness—in a way, perhaps, that Huffpo could not have for its diffuse microphone and kitchen-sink interests.

“What does follow the HuffPo playbook,” as I wrote, “are the high-wattage people she’s bringing into her mission—from financiers and investors (Jack Ma, Sean Parker, Ray Dalio, Mohamed El Erian, Nicolas Berggruen, Zoe Baird, Shari Redstone, and the Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala) to an A-list group of C-suite boosters (Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Uber’s Travis Kalanick, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—all three of whom offered a tribute video or piece for Thrive Global’s launch today).”

Most of the draw is Huffington herself. But, as I wrote—bleary-eyed and in my all-nighter fugue state—“there is also something deeply enticing about Thrive Global’s mission…What’s compelling is not so much the message that well-being leads to happiness, but rather that well-being leads to productivity . . . and creativity. And the opposite is equally true: burn-out, exhaustion, and even more moderate chronic tiredness are productivity (and creativity) killers.”

I got first-hand proof of the latter this morning.